Become a Resident Advisor (RA)
A residence hall isn't just a place to sleep and study. Resident Advisors (or RAs) help shape the community within each residence hall by creating special programs and events, being a role model, listening to issues and problems that residents have, and serving as an excellent resource for their community. RAs, along with House Supervisors, Company Commanders, and Graduate Fellows, comprise some of the student staff positions in Housing and Residence Life.
RA and House Supervisor applications for 2021-2022 are now closed. Applications for 2022-23 will open in October of 2021!
The RA position is the conduit through which their residents know and are known. Therefore, their primary responsibility is to develop relationships with each and every resident in their community.
RAs, like all student staff members, must be committed to self-development and the development of others; to the mission and identity of the community; and to the staff team with which they work. RAs are expected to serve as role models on campus, to exhibit the ability to be effective listeners and excellent resources, and to show ethical behavior at all times. The nature of the live-in position often requires work outside of traditional business hours, including weekends and university academic breaks. The RA position requires both regularly scheduled responsibilities and times at which student staff are available and accessible to community residents.
- Support the implementation of ExperienceVT in the residential community.
- Promote and sustain leadership by maintaining positive peer-leader relationships and supporting the goals of residents.
- Be committed to supporting student success, both academic and personal.
- Be available to and get to know and be known by residents.
- Have both formal (i.e. ExperienceVT Chats) and informal interactions with the residents on assigned floor throughout the year, paying special attention to when they join the community.
- Develop opportunities for individuals to contribute to the floor community.
- Be accessible to residents at various times throughout the day, including nights and some weekends. Staff members are expected to spend at least 4 nights per week interacting with residents in the residence hall. Additionally, they should spend no more than 4 weekends away per semester, excluding to certain departmental commitments.
- Support residents as they develop interpersonal skills and individual responsibility (i.e. roommate conflicts, community conflicts, building healthy relationships, making positive decisions) while living in community.
- Encourage resident participation in Hall/Community/College Council, University sponsored programs, student organizations and other activities.
- Work as a member of the team to support out-of-class learning opportunities.
- Work to implement ExperienceVT strategies, as directed by the employer and supervisor, throughout all aspects of your role.
- Connect residents with one another, their floor, and the broader residence hall and campus community.
- Encourage understanding and acceptance to promote an inclusive residential community.
- Build communities focused on learning and the academic success of each student.
- Work with residents and team to develop a community identity on both individual and building levels.
- Assist in the development of community standards and roommate expectations.
- Encourage University and broader community involvement.
- Encourage residents to respect and maintain the facility.
- Discuss as well as address students' needs and concerns, both individually and in groups.
- Initiate discussions about individual and group dynamics before issues manifest.
- Refer students to the appropriate support services available on campus.
- When addressing and interacting with students, utilize a learning centered approach.
- Assist and facilitate conflict resolution with residents and community members, in consultation with supervisor(s).
- Help develop an atmosphere in which students have concern and respect for others and their rights.
- Enforce University and residential policies (VTCC regulations, VT student athlete handbook, fraternity and sorority regulations, Oak Lane community guide, housing contract, and dining services policies) and procedures in a fair, consistent, and timely manner.
- Respond to crises and incidents with an ethic of care for students, guests, and facilities.
- Participate in on-call duty rotations (including walking residential communities), including but not limited to break duty coverage (i.e. Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, before and after each semester).
- Perform administrative functions which includes but is not limited to, ExperienceVT implementation, completing all required paperwork and administrative processes in a timely and accurate manner, promptly posting signs and regularly changing bulletin boards, community programming, meetings, and identifying and reporting maintenance concerns.
- Communicate regularly and consistently with supervisors, teammates, and University administration.
- Encourage and role model positive interactions with partners (e.g. housekeeping, maintenance, LLP staff, etc).
- Assist in opening and closing residence halls at the beginning and end of each semester and during University break periods.
- Assume additional responsibilities as assigned by supervisors and other Housing and Residence Life and Fraternity & Sorority Life professionals.
- Participate in staff selection and recruitment initiatives.
- Attend and participate in all required training and leadership development opportunities including but not limited to annual trainings, in-services, one-on-ones, staff meetings and evaluations.
- Complete and pass the Principles of Peer Leadership three-credit course.
- Additional program associated responsibilities varies by LLP. Please see specific contract addendums for positions within LLPs.
Earnings may affect the amount of aid a student receives for the academic year. In addition, the room scholarship is similar to any other scholarship and may impact a student's financial aid package. Should you have any specific questions, they should be directed to your assigned financial aid counselor in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. This analysis is strongly recommended prior to accepting any offer of employment.
All applicants must have a minimum cumulative and semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.5. The minimum must be maintained, although a higher average is encouraged. Whenever a RA's GPA falls below a 2.5 or earns less than 2.5 for two consecutive semesters, he or she can be suspended from the position until grades meet or exceed the requirement.
Applicants must live on Virginia Tech's campus for two semesters before they are eligible for employment. Applicants for the position must be a sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student at the time of employment in August, or have a minimum of 30 hours and/or two semesters of on-campus residency at Virginia Tech.
Contact housing (housing.vt.edu or 540-231-6205) with any specific questions or concerns.
A candidate must maintain good academic and conduct standing with the University (not currently on an active conduct status sanction), and also pass a comprehensive background check.
RAs receive 18 consecutive payments during the academic year, paid twice per month to the individual.
Applicants that accept the position receive a full room scholarship for the duration of the employment contract period. The total of the compensation plan is equal to the approximate cost of room plus board. RAs are responsible for purchasing a meal plan at their own expense.
RAs are given the opportunity to build skills needed to develop personally and professionally. You will receive ongoing training in leadership and communication, and learn skills like mediating a conversation or conflict situation.
RAs also benefit from resume development and evaluation, setting goals and developing a comprehensive plan to be successful in the position. Being an RA gives you the space and time to think about what you're good at. You will develop relational skills through working with people different from you, and you'll work on a staff, and one-on-one with your supervisor, to develop professionally. Regular feedback is given to staff members, including a performance review at the end of the year designed to highlight your strengths and help you understand how to improve professionally.
Housing and Residence Life assigns RAs to specific residence halls and rooms. Assignments are based on staff and community needs. Students who request special accommodations, including air conditioning, must be certified under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through Services for Students with Disabilities. The certification must be complete prior to April 1. Certification under the ADA is information recorded in the permanent student record. For more questions or clarification, please e-mail email@example.com.
Being a successful resident advisor takes a great deal of effort; however, we realize that RAs are often key leaders on campus. We encourage each RA to be involved in other campus activities and organizations. Additional employment, student teaching, or significant involvement in an organization or other co-curricular activity requires approval by the supervisor in advance.
RAs are expected to be available for a minimum of four nights per week and are required to serve scheduled weekday and weekend duty. During duty shifts, RAs are required to remain in the building from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., with support duty hours also occurring from 7 to 8 am and 5 to 6 pm on weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. The frequency of duty will vary from building to building depending on the size of the staff.
All new RAs are required to enroll in the academic course, Principles of Peer Leadership. This three-credit course will be conducted during the spring semester prior to the first semester of employment and satisfactory performance is required to hold a position for the academic year.
RAs are formally evaluated during the fall and spring semesters by their residents, supervisor, and informally by themself. RAs are required to work with their supervisors to develop a comprehensive plan to be successful in the position. Regular feedback is given to staff members so that they are aware of their performance.
RAs are expected to be on assignment whenever the residence halls are open, including a few days before the halls are opened and after the last day of closing. Some residence halls (Newman, Hillcrest, Cochrane, East Ambler Johnston, Main Campbell, and the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown) are open during academic breaks and staffs assigned to work in these buildings are expected to participate in staffing during these periods. Exceptions to the standard leave policy must be cleared in advance with your respective supervisor.
RAs will start the school year with temporary roommates. As occupancy permits, temporary roommates will be re-assigned, providing RAs with a single-occupancy room. Staff will be given prior notification regarding the occupancy status at the August opening, but should expect to have a temporary roommate for the duration of the fall semester.
All RAs are required to participate in the Fall Training and Leadership Workshop, held in August. RAs are also required to participate in the Winter Training and Leadership Workshop, held prior to spring check-in.